Wednesday, January 23, 2013

It started with a reusable mop

From the (currently overflowing) laundry basket of the HomeGrown Mama

In 2007, I started on my journey to live a greener, more natural lifestyle. I remember it like it was yesterday: I'd been married less than a year and had spent a weekend at home during a snowstorm reading blog after blog, including that of The Farmer's Daughter and came to the realization that I needed to make some serious changes in my life. I had read an article on how chemicals in a certain popular mopping solution was making animals sick and I panicked envisioning my pug greedily licking the kitchen floor when I turned my back. I threw out the mop that day and bought one with reusable pads... the same mop that I clean my floors with today, 8 years and 2 homes later.

That year, I planted a garden, learned to cook and can, eliminated the toxins as best I could from my home and became the crazy eco-nut my family as grown to accept. At that time, I had to search for ingredients and would nearly have a panic attack taking my containers to the deli to ask that meat be sliced into them instead of the plastic bags. All through my pregnancy, I only ate local foods because I was so influenced by the 100 mile diet until the cravings took over and I couldn't escape my "need" for cantaloupe in February or the lure of Taco Bell. I had a drug-free home birth and prided myself on the thrifted furniture and cloth diapers in my baby's room.

As I sit here, beginning my 8th year of eco-responsibility, I'm reflecting on how my life has changed. I was crazy about my 100 mile diet until I realized that my little boy wouldn't eat much other than carbs unless it was fresh fruit. Sadly, Ohio isn't known for it's fruit production mid January. So I buy organic fruit and continue to can applesauce like a fool while apples are in season a few miles away.  However, those years of purchasing locally opened my eyes to all that is available within my county and state. Through this, I search Etsy for gifts I cannot make or source through a friend.

As always, there is still room for growth. I'm looking to keep phasing plastics out of my kitchen and resume my unprocessed ways... the holidays always seem to throw me for a loop... I can't be the only one out there, right?! Despite my continued need for improvement, I'm thrilled to look back and see that my choices that were hard in the beginning are second nature now. I now reach for a (repurposed) squirt bottle of vinegar when I clean and my children's toys are dominated by those not requiring batteries. My husband has been overheard explaining the joys of cloth diapering and although they know it to be true, my family still can't grasp why I don't buy paper towels.

What made you take the dive into a greener life? How many of those first changes have you kept and what are you still working toward?

1 comment:

Christy said...

I can't remember a single event that set me on the path toward a greener life. My interest has waxed and waned with my enthusiasm and energy. Perhaps the first set of general events was in my mid twenties when I started delving into reading about the connections between science, spirituality and the environment. Then I had some health issues and I dealt with them through a naturopathic doctor.

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